Monday, July 14, 2008

2009 Season Gossip

From Richard Ouzounian at the Toronto Star:

"It's Colm Feore by a nose.

"Now that it's getting close to the time when final plans for next season have to be made at Stratford, Deep Swan (the name for my collective Perth County informants) has brought me a wealth of news.

"A few weeks ago, I reported that Donna Feore would be directing her husband Colm in a musical version of Cyrano de Bergerac and I was promptly informed that I was wrong.

"Okay, but not totally wrong.

"The Feores are indeed going to be working together on Cyrano de Bergerac next season at Stratford, but it's on the original Edmond Rostand version, not a song-and-dance adaptation. Feore, by the way, previously played the role at Stratford in 1994.

"Feore is also expected to be playing the murderous Scotsman in Macbeth and, knowing what a workaholic Feore is, I'm sure there's another major role he'll be jumping into as well. I would not, however, give any credence to the rumours that Mrs. Feore will be playing Lady Macbeth. Some people are just plain catty.

"In other news, I hear that there will only be three Shakespearean titles on next year's playbill, with A Midsummer Night's Dream and Julius Caesar joining the Scottish play.

"And, in another change, I'm informed that one of the musicals will be returning to the Festival Theatre stage only a year after we were told the Avon Theatre is where all such shows would play in the future.

"As previously suggested, West Side Story is the show moving onto the Festival stage, directed by prominent Chicago and Broadway (The Color Purple) stager Gary Griffin and choreographed by Tony nominee and Toronto guy, Sergio Trujillo, who also arranged the dances for Stratford's last production of the show in 1999.

"At the Avon stage, look for Stephen Sondheim's ancient Roman romp A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum to be taking up residence. If you'd like to see the obvious choice for the leading role of Pseudolus (made famous by Zero Mostel and Nathan Lane), then head over to this year's production of Cabaret and watch the cast closely. Hint: it's not Nora McLellan.

"Also coming to the Avon will be Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, to be directed by Brian Bedford. As has been reported elsewhere, Bedford will also be playing the role of Lady Bracknell, a piece of transvestite trickery first undertaken at Stratford by the late William Hutt in the 1970s.

"Among the tantalizing shows that were initially planned but have now fallen off the schedule include Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard and Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra. Kim Cattrall, it seems, will be otherwise occupied, filming the sequel to Sex and the City.

"Some more titles and people still have to click into place, but you will probably also find one of the festival's best-loved actresses returning mid-season in a play where she portrays a woman with a thing for a younger man.

"And no, the show in question is not The Kim Cattrall Story. There are others, you know."

No comments: